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Parramatta's Chowking Grocery

Remembering Sydney’s Filipino groceries

Sydney’s Filipino groceries flourished during the 90s and the early part of the millenium with a number of formerly employed migrants delving on self-employments and a change in vocation, trying their luck in small businesses.

Sari-sari store as convenient stores were called in the Philippines were boosted with assured income from food and home provisions imported from the Philippines, coupled by regular assured revenues from door-to-door remittances and freight services called padala.  Plus the longings for periodicals, videos and the international phone cards from home country.

At that time the connectivity of internet platforms have bot supplanted many of the migrants’ traditional way of getting in touch with relations in the former country.

Filipino migrants and overseas workers in Australia continue to have strong ties with their countrymen in the Philippines, hence the need to send money to relatives and the regular boxes of goodies and provisions from a Western country like Australia.

Filipino groceries are the regular meeting places of Filipino migrants eager to socialise with countrymen and women now settled in a foreign country but still suffers the longings for things Filipino.

How many of you can recall those daily trips to the Filipino sari-sari in the many suburban centres close to your residences, for the bag of rice, bottle of patis, phone cards, and of course the sending of cash to love ones in Manila?